The Votes are in as are the Comments: My Observations
Peter Carter, Chief Executive Officer
So, the votes are in and the WINNER is.................... !
The BLUE TEAM. By 56% to the ORANGE TEAM’S 44%.
So this proves conclusively that Health Information Technology is already improving healthcare safety and current regulation around it is sufficient – doesn’t it!? Maybe….maybe not.
Firstly 56/44 is not exactly a resounding victory and secondly the comments received on the proposition, and there were many were mostly equivocal, on both sides.
The first observation made by many is that there are really two questions here which may or may not be related. It is possible to agree that HIT is improving safety but it is not sufficiently regulated AND, equally, that HIT is not making healthcare safer but it is sufficiently regulated. One could even make the argument that regulation is an impediment to HIT’s attempts to improve safety.
A second observation is that the various roles of vendors, clinicians, patients, managers, IT specialists and others in the development and implementation of IT solutions need to be mixed and matched much better than they are at present to achieve optimal improvement.
So, yes, HIT is in some, perhaps many, even most –places and cases improving healthcare safety but it will better realise its potential if we are cleverer in how we design and employ it AND no, regulation around it is probably not sufficient or, perhaps, not always appropriate.
This DEBATE, as with the one before it on the ageing population, and as, we hope, will be future debates, is about learning from each other and exchanging information and testing our ideas on experts and peers.